The Town of Parker has settled a lawsuit brought by its former Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer. She will receive $77,276 and her attorneys will receive $36,975 for their work on the case.
According to the settlement agreement, Wedemeyer intends to use the funds to purchase service credit from the Arizona State Retirement System. This will allow her to ‘buy’ the remaining time she would have been employed at the Town so she can qualify for the full monthly retirement she would have earned if her employment had not been terminated early.
Wedemeyer originally sought damages of $5 million alleging false allegations against her in her long role as Town Manager, loss of reputation, the destruction of her standing in the community, damage to her quality of life and ongoing stigma.
Attorneys with the Town’s insurance risk pool made the decision to settle rather than allow the lawsuit to proceed. The pool will pay the settlement while the Town reportedly pays a $2500 deductible.
Yuma County Sheriff’s Department has not released any updates on its investigation into multiple allegations of wrongdoing at the Town, which involved a search warrant executed at Wedemeyer’s home almost a year ago. Wedemeyer defended herself stridently in the notice of claim now being settled, saying that there is no evidence of what is being alleged. A different Town employee, Jennifer Alcaida, was fired and escorted from Town Hall after allegations of financial irregularity were reported and Yuma County’s investigation began.
Town councilman and former councilwoman Randy and Vivian Hartless have been two of Wedemeyer’s most ardent critics, contending that Wedemeyer’s conduct will come to light. With the settlement, Wedemeyer has released the Town from further liability, but Vivian Hartless has not been released and a lawsuit continues. Wedemeyer accuses Hartless of defamation and false light, among other things, and reportedly offered to settle with her for $20,000, which the Hartlesses say they countered with $0.
“We actually look forward to having our day in court,” Hartless told Parker Live, “and we are quite confident that we will prevail. Our family has been through a lot over the past year, being harassed and maligned by some people in the community, but we are hopeful the investigation by the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office will be completed in the near future. We are confident that history will be on our side and when the truth comes out, karma will follow shortly thereafter.”
No criminal or civil charges have ever been brought against Wedemeyer in connection with her job as Town Manager.